Scheppers, Coello Added to Indy Roster in Majors While Stu Pomeranz’s Season Is Interrupted
It was just a week ago when we projected that Tanner Scheppers, who started his professional career with the St. Paul Saints in the American Association, could well be one of the next Independent players to reach the major leagues. It happened Thursday when the Texas Rangers added the right-hander to their roster. Scheppers was 1-2 with nine saves and a 3.72 ERA in 17 relief outings for Round Rock, TX this season.
In other major league developments for onetime Indy players, Stu Pomeranz’s promising season has been interrupted by a nasty oblique injury while Robert Coello is getting a new opportunity and Steve Delabar and Mike Costanzo have returned to the minor leagues for further work.
Pomeranz, who worked for the New Jersey Jackals (Can-Am League) in ’09 before nearly seeing his career go up in smoke because of shoulder problems and some personal issues, made a heroic climb from free agent to minor league star and eventual Baltimore Orioles reliever in about 3 ½ months earlier this year. But on his second visit to the parent club he went on the 15-day disabled list and now has been moved to the 60-day list. If all goes well, he could return sometime next month.
Coello, a Golden Leaguer (Calgary and Edmonton) in 2008 who made his major league debut with Boston for six mound appearances in 2010, returned to the majors with Toronto after averaging 9.4 strikeouts every nine innings as a starter and reliever in Las Vegas (3-1, 3.22). He has made one appearance so far, allowing three hits and striking out three in two scoreless innings.
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Healthy Openers in San Rafael, Maui
There does not seem to be any way that this can be an easy season for the North Division of the second-year North American League since two teams are located in Hawaii and two in California, one of those without a home, but opening day crowds in both San Rafael, CA and Maui, HA showed promise for the future.
Maui usually had crowds of no more than a few hundred fans last season, yet Na Koa Ikaika, featuring more local players than in the past, had what The Maui News reported was an overflow audience announced at 2,818 when it opened by edging Hilo’s new Hawaii Stars 4-3 this week. The new San Rafael Pacifics opened a day earlier at a dressed up Albert Park with what The Marin (CA) Independent Journal reported was “a sold out crowd of more than 1,000″. Box scores, which would include attendance, have not yet been posted by Pointstreak, the league statistician.
Hot Bat Could Help Berroa Return to Majors
Time could be running out on 2003 American League Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa to get back to the major leagues where the shortstop has played only sparingly since 2008, yet if he keeps up the pace with the New Jersey Jackals, who already have three of their alums at that level, hope could turn into reality.
Berroa, usually listed at 34, drove in four more runs Wednesday, boosting his numbers with the Can-Am League team to eight home runs, 24 RBI and a .296 average in only 21 games.
“That’s my goal (major leagues),” the Dominican told The Worcester (MA) Telegram and Gazette this week. “Right now I’m here playing my game, playing hard and doing my thing every day.” He hit .263 with six homers and 33 RBI in 64 games with Bridgeport, CT (Atlantic League) last year before finishing up with 42 more contests at .320-4-25 with Arizona‘s top farm club in Reno, NV.
This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes year round on Independent Baseball. Fans may subscribe for 2012 at reduced rates at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy his blogs, www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com and www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, or comment to RWirz@aol.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)